Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
This past Tuesday, March 8th, 64% of Los Angeles voters said yes on Measure L! This means great things for Los Angeles libraries, Los Angeles citizens, and UCLA library school students. ALA Student Chapter members worked for several weeks on the campaign, but no future librarian worked harder than ALA Student Chapter Co-President, Britt Foster. Not only was she the brains behind the student operations, organizing phone banking and flyering schedules, but also, she put in many work hours hitting the pavement and dialing voters. Additionally, Britt served as the liaison between the student chapter and City Librarian, Martin Gomez, as well as the Librarian's Guild.
This past Sunday, Measure L supporters convened outside a beautiful library, the Memorial Branch, to have one last rally before voters entered booths on Tuesday. The rally included speakers, authors, musicians, and a magic act. A crowd of around 150 people gathered in front of an antique door in the park outside the library. The library was closed for the day due to budget cuts, and the statement made by the setting was poignant. Some of the speakers were well known to the UCLA MLIS program. Eva Mitnick, an adjunct professor in the area of children's services, spoke to community members about the importance of L through alliterations featuring -you guessed it- the letter 'L.' In recognition of her passion and commitment, Britt was also invited to speak at this final rally for Measure L. Britt's speech was heartfelt and sincere (see below). Four ALA Student Chapter Officers appeared at the event to cheer on Measure L and cheer on Britt. On the whole the event was well attended, and the magician was a raving success with the numerous children present. March 8th: After an anxious day at the polls, confirmation that Measure L had passed came in around 10:30 pm. Since then, students and librarians alike have been riding high on an L shaped cloud. Measure L was crucial for Los Angeles libraries, but as one of the largest and most diverse library systems in the county, it was also an important vote for sending a message to the country about libraries and their value. Los Angeles voters rose to the challenge, and ALA Student Chapter was a part of this momentous occasion. We gave 'em heLL!
Britt Foster's Heartfelt Speech:
I feel I should share with you what it is I’m doing in Los Angeles, and to do that, I’ve got to go back a few years. I visited L.A. for the first time in 2007, and a friend from college offered to give me a tour. After navigating the 101, which is part of the L.A. experience, for sure, we went-- not to the beaches, not to Hollywood, but to the place my friend felt was one of the shining examples of L.A.-- the Central Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. It felt like a religious experience-- I kept telling people that I had visited the “cathedral of books.” Two years later, I sent out applications and was accepted in library schools across the United States, in Brooklyn, in Seattle. But I was waiting for one: when my acceptance letter to the Master’s of Library and Information Science program at UCLA came, I-- I’m not kidding-- screamed and did a happy dance in the kitchen. All I could think about was working for Los Angeles Public Library.
When I asked my fellow library school students what they felt was important for all of you to hear, L.A. natives often started their ideas with their own story about LAPL-- visiting the Chinatown branch on Hill St., what it meant to them to intern in the library they grew up in, serving kids just like they once were. Some of them talked about wanting to work for LAPL, but are looking at jobs in northern California, on the East Coast, because they know it’s not possible with the current state of the library. I don’t want to diminish what it means to myself and my fellow students to leave the library system that is often host to our first professional experience, through internships and research projects, but I think the bigger issue is what it means to the communities of Los Angeles to lose librarians, both those recently graduated, and those that have been laid off after serving the city through LAPL. I think that I love librarians, and libraries, because they believe in people. Los Angeles needs people and places that believe in people: believe in people like the kids who come to the library after school because it is the only safe option for them; believe in people like adults who never learned to read as kids, and are taking literacy classes so that they can read to their kids; believe in people who come to the library to find jobs, to meet with other people, to find that movie or book that reminds them that, as people, we’re all in this together.
I graduate from UCLA in three months, and since I am wholeheartedly committed to becoming a public librarian, I believe in people, too. I believe in the power of the people of Los Angeles to pass Measure L with a “yes” vote on March 8.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
UCLA ALA Student Chapter further revealed it's commitment to a year of library activism with the biggest event yet! Chapter members and friends gathered together to get the word out to L.A. voters about Measure L. This ballot measure represents a pivotal moment for Los Angeles libraries. If it passes, libraries will have their funding restored to pre-recession levels, allowing the library to return to six days of service per week (and later seven), increasing the collections budget, and increasing services and programming. If, however, the measure does not pass, L.A, City Council will have no reason to defend libraries from further budget slashes. It has been predicted that should the measure not pass, 64 out of 72 branches would need to close completely. Ouch!
Obviously, a student group comprised of dedicated future librarians is absolutely in favor of Measure L, and we're putting our energies into helping the cause. Students have already been handing out Measure L bookmarks to registered L.A. voters, blogging, writing op-eds, posting fliers at work and home, and leaving quarter sheets at amenable local businesses. Today, however, represented a huge push as the countdown to voting day begins in earnest. Chapter members assembled for updates and action plans. After learning the latest news, small groups split off into stations. There was a table for social networking on laptops, a room reserved for phone banking, fliers for those who wished to hit the pavement, and window chalk for transforming cars into mobile billboards. Best of all, there were sign up sheets to keep the action going until voting on March 8th!
UCLA ALA Student Chapter sponsored the event as a way for busy graduate students balancing work, school, and family to easily give an hour of service to the cause. The goal was to bring activism right to the students. As part of this flexibility, a table will remain in the student commons with all sign up sheets and fliers so that even those members who couldn't make the day of action can still find a way to contribute to this monumental time in LAPL history. To read more about the Student Chapters big day, see today's Daily Bruin!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Election: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Last day to register to vote: February 22, 2011
Polling place look-up: http://www.lavote.net/LOCATOR/
Mail-in-ballot period: February 7, 2011- Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Last day to request vote-by-mail ballot: March 1, 2011
Download and print request here: http://cityclerk.lacity.org/election
City Clerk-Election Division
555 Ramirez Street, Space 300
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Twitter: @YesonL, #YesonMeasureL
Facebook: Yes on Measure L: Save Our Neighborhood Libraries